Carlos Gonzalez Rumors
In January, the Rockies accomplished a feat thought to be impossible: they locked up Carlos Gonzalez, who is represented by Scott Boras. Despite Boras providing CarGo with "actuary tables that would show Gonzalez's earning power if he would stay healthy and productive," the Rockies were able to buy out three free agent seasons at less than $18MM per year.
Gonzalez's seven-year, $80MM deal set a record for the largest deal signed by a player with between two and three years service time. The contract topped Hanley Ramirez's six-year, $70MM contract, signed nearly three years ago. Other recent deals for two-plus players include Justin Upton's six-year, $51.25MM contract and Jay Bruce's six-year, $51MM pact. A few details on the four contracts:
- Gonzalez is paid $23MM for his three arbitration years plus $53MM over the course of three free agent seasons ($17.67MM per). There are no option years, so CarGo could reach free agency at age 32 and score one more huge deal.
- Ramirez gets $23.5MM for his three arbitration years and plus $46.5MM over three free agent seasons ($15.5MM per). His deal also has no options, and he can reach free agency at age 30.
- Upton will earn $20.75MM for his three arbitration years plus $28.75MM over two free agent seasons ($14.375MM per). The deal has no options, and he can be a free agent at age 28.
- Bruce will make $25.25MM over four arbitration years plus $25.5MM guaranteed over two free agent seasons ($12.75MM per). In the likely event Bruce's 2017 club option is exercised, that's $37.5MM over three free agent seasons or $12.5MM per. If the option is exercised he'll reach free agency at age 30.
CarGo essentially matches Ramirez's arbitration earnings and tops his free agent take by a total of $6.5MM. In one sense Boras deserves credit for brokering the largest deal ever for a two-plus player, but in another Hanley's agents at WMG win since their deal came almost three years earlier.
Though the Rockies paid top dollar to do Gonzalez's extension now, the savings could still be significant. Further along in their careers, Ryan Howard and Joey Votto required $44MM and $38MM for their three arbitration years, respectively. Howard later gave up five free agent seasons at $25MM each, so paying CarGo $16MM in 2015 could be a downright bargain if he remains an elite player.
For my take on the Rockies' other huge extension, the Troy Tulowitzki contract, click here.
It's still early in Arizona, where the five NL West teams train, but that won't stop us from providing updates on some of those clubs. Here's the latest...
- Giants manager Bruce Bochy repeated that he's open-minded about who ends up playing left field in 2011, according to MLB.com's Chris Haft. Aubrey Huff, Pat Burrell, Mark DeRosa and Nate Schierholtz are all candidates to play left for San Francisco.
- Edgar Renteria told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News that he called the Giants' $1MM offer "a total disrespect" because of pride, not money. The 2010 World Series MVP went on to sign a $2.1MM deal with Cincinnati.
- Carlos Gonzalez told Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post that he doesn't expect to be overwhelmed by the attention that comes with national endorsement deals and his new $80MM contract with the Rockies.
- D'Backs GM Kevin Towers explained to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that he intends "to build [the Arizona] organization around young pitching." Pitchers like Daniel Hudson, Ian Kennedy and Jarrod Parker figure to be important contributors for the D'Backs' staff going forward. Kennedy, who was often grouped with Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes while playing in the Yankees' system, cautions against lumping pitchers together, though.
The Rockies are officially announcing that they have signed Carlos Gonzalez to a seven-year, $80MM extension. The deal will keep Gonzalez in the Rockies' lineup through 2017 along with Troy Tulowitzki, who is under contract through 2020.
Augusto Cárdenas of Diario Panorama explains that Gonzalez receives a $3MM signing bonus and will earn $1MM in 2011, $5MM in 2012, $7.5MM in 2013, $10.5MM in 2014, $16MM in 2015, $17MM in 2016 and $20MM in 2017.
Gonzalez, 25, finished third in MVP voting last year, after leading the National League in hits and batting average. He clubbed 34 homers and hit .336/.376/.598 in 636 plate appearances. Gonzalez split his time between the three outfield positions in 2010 and won his first Gold Glove.
Gonzalez is not yet arbitration eligible, so the contract covers one pre-arb season, three arbitration seasons and three free agent years. Agent Scott Boras has a tendency to let his clients hit the open market, but this deal will postpone Gonzalez's free agency until he's 32. However, Boras proved with the Jayson Werth deal that it's possible for early thirties outfielders to cash in via free agency.
Gonzalez will recieve an "assignment bonus" if he is dealt during the seven-year term of the contract, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. However, a Rockies source told Heyman, "we aren't trading him." Troy Renck of The Denver Post tweetsthat the provision will pay him $2MM if he is traded.
Let's take a look at some Rockies-related tidbits..
- The Rockies like Brian Fuentes but the left-hander is looking to close and also looking for roughly $5MM per year. Colorado isn't looking to shell out that kind of money for the 35-year-old, tweets Troy Renck of The Denver Post.
- After resolving his visa issues, Carlos Gonzalez arrived in Denver today and will take a physical tomorrow to finalize his seven-year, $80MM contract, Renck writes. The Rockies will likely hold a presser on Tuesday to announce the deal.
- The Rockies lost interest in pitcher Scott Kazmir once they re-signed Jorge de la Rosa, Renck tweets.
- One reader asks Renck via Twitter if the Rockies are still interested in reliever Joe Beimel. It appears that other clubs have more interest in the veteran as Colorado hasn't talked to his representation lately.
As Cooperstown welcomes Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven into the Hall of Fame, some of these news items concern a few of Alomar and Blyleven's former teams and teammates...
- Jim Thome is said to be looking for a one-year deal worth as much as $8MM, reports ESPN.com's Jason A. Churchill. Thome's strong 2010 season notwithstanding, that would represent a whopping increase over the $1.5MM contract he signed with Minnesota last year. The Twins have been considered the favorites to re-sign Thome, but if the team balks at that asking price, Churchill suggests they could instead turn to Vladimir Guerrero as a DH option. Churchill adds that Tampa Bay could also be interested in Guerrero if the price is right.
- Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos "conceded that it's looking more likely that" Jose Bautista will be Toronto's Opening Day third baseman rather than its right fielder, reports Shi Davidi of The Canadian Press. Anthopoulos noted that the club is still looking at other third base/right field options and also may still be in the market for another reliever. The Blue Jays have added Octavio Dotel, Chad Cordero and Wil Ledezma to their bullpen mix over the past two days.
- Carlos Gonzalez had a lengthy meeting with agent Scott Boras in December to discuss a possible extension with the Rockies, so the agreed-upon deal wasn't at all "an impulse decision," tweets The Denver Post's Troy Renck.
- Also from Renck (Twitter link), the Rockies are "not totally out" of the bidding for Joe Beimel, but other clubs "have shown stronger interest." We heard last month that the Rockies weren't one of several teams who had made Beimel a contract offer.
- The Pirates' desire to add left-handed relievers has only grown in the wake of Ledezma going to Toronto, tweets Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Speaking of the Pirates, Bucs president Frank Coonelly discussed the team's relief options and other topics in his monthly chat with fans on MLB.com.
- With so many intriguing designated hitter possibilities on the market, Chad Jennings of the LoHud Yankees blog notes that it's an unfortunate time for the Yankees to be shifting Jorge Posada into the full-time DH spot.
The Rockies have locked up Troy Tulowitzki through 2020 and they've agreed to a deal that should keep Carlos Gonzalez in Denver through 2017. Both are powerful young hitters capable of playing premium defensive positions at a high level, so any team would want them.
Tulowitzki, 26, finished fifth in MVP voting in 2009 and 2010. He plays Gold Glove defense and has an electrifying bat capable of carrying a team (remember those 15 September home runs?). Gonzalez, also a Gold Glove winner, is just 25. He won a batting title last year and hit 34 home runs. Few teams have two elite young players like Tulo and CarGo, so it's not surprising that GM Dan O'Dowd wanted to keep them around.
But the Rockies didn't have to offer Tulowitzki and Gonzalez massive extensions to keep the players in Colorado. They were both under team control through 2014 before they agreed to extensions. You could argue that the Rockies took on unnecessary risk with their recent deals. It begs the question...
There’s word that many Angels people were in favor of offering Carl Crawford a seven-year deal worth $142MM or so, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. The Red Sox won the bidding for the All-Star left fielder with a $142MM offer that left the Angels without one of their offseason targets. Owner Arte Moreno has said that his team never made Crawford an offer, but he acknowledged the Angels' interest. Here are the rest of Heyman’s rumors:
- There are thought to be one or two teams looking at Carl Pavano other than the Twins and Nationals, according to Heyman. The Mariners and Rangers have been linked to Pavano this winter, but it's not clear if those clubs are currently interested.
- Heyman reports that the Rockies are still trying to lock up Carlos Gonzalez. Meanwhile Troy Renck of the Denver Post hears that the Rockies could move closer to an extension with the 25-year-old this week
The Rockies appear to be nearing an extension with Carlos Gonzalez. The outfielder's Twitter account announced that a contract is "is almost a fact" and confirmed that it would be in the seven-year, $80MM range. Troy Renck of the Denver Post says it sounds like a deal will be completed this week (Twitter links).
The deal would keep Gonzalez in the Rockies' lineup through 2017. He and Troy Tulowitzki, who is under contract through 2020, will be cornerstones in Colorado for the foreseeable future.
Gonzalez is not yet arbitration eligible, so the contract would cover one pre-arb season, three arbitration seasons and three free agent years. Agent Scott Boras has a tendency to let his clients hit the open market, but this deal would put Gonzalez's free agency off until he's 32. However, Boras proved with the Jayson Werth deal that it's possible for early thirties outfielders to cash in via free agency.
The precise breakdown of the proposed deal remains unclear, but it doesn't appear as though the Rockies are getting a hometown discount.
This post was originally published on January 3rd.
Because sometimes, turning to his native tongue can help a player say what he really means...
- "There is progress" in the extension talks between Carlos Gonzalez and the Rockies, the Venezuelan outfielder told Wilmer Reina at La Verdad. Gonzalez said he is leaving all negotations up to his agent Scott Boras, but he seemed to be thinking like a free agent when he said, "I met with [Boras] in Florida and we talked about many things, especially the market value players have obtained after the contracts of [Jayson] Werth and [Carl] Crawford."
- The Indians have been following the progress of Bartolo Colon in the Dominican winter leagues, manager Manny Acta told Pedro G. Briceño at the Dominican paper Listin Diario. Whether the team has interest in actually signing the 37-year-old has been disputed stateside, as ESPN Deportes' Enrique Rojas tweeted a "si" last week, which the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Paul Hoynes countered with a clear "no." For Colon's part, he logged his first subpar start of the winter three days ago, giving up six runs (three earned) and eight hits over six innings against the Toros del Este.
- Javier Vazquez applauded his new NL East rival Cliff Lee for choosing the team for which he wanted to play, even though it meant leaving money on the table. "I wasn't in the same situation as him, but I had a few contract offers of two years," Vazquez told Rubén A. Rodriguez at El Nuevo Dia in Puerto Rico. "For me, the most important thing was playing for the teams I wanted. I gave my agent a list of those teams. If I hadn't ended up with one of those, I don't know what would have happened." Vazquez ultimately signed for one-year and $7MM with the Marlins, who were clear front-runners for his services throughout the winter.
FRIDAY, 4:45pm: Monfort confirmed that the team has offered Gonzalez a seven-year extension, but questioned the salary number reported by the Post. "I'm not sure where $100MM came from," Monfort told Wilmer Reina at the Venezuelan paper La Verdad (link in Spanish). "It's true that our organization has talked with his agent about an agreement of seven years, but not with those numbers." - Nick Collias
THURSDAY, 6:18am: Rockies owner Dick Monfort has already committed over $100MM this winter to one of the cornerstones of his franchise, Troy Tulowitzki. Now, Monfort tells Troy Renck of the Denver Post that he'd be open to a six- or seven-year extension, potentially in the neighborhood of $100MM, for another of Colorado's stars: Carlos Gonzalez.
"I am hopeful, yes, that we can get something done," Monfort said. "Why? Well, I haven't talked directly with Carlos, but I know he likes it here. And as a player, I would like to know that Troy Tulowitzki is going to be hitting behind me forever. And I would like that I don't have to play center field every day because we already have a gazelle out there (in Dexter Fowler)."
Monfort acknowledged that, considering Gonzalez's representation, getting a deal done wouldn't be easy. But according to Scott Boras, if the young outfielder is interesting in pursuing an extension and feels that it's "economically suitable for him," he would be open to the idea.
According to GM Dan O'Dowd, any extension negotiations won't continue into spring training, so if the two sides intend to work out anything this winter, talks will need to pick up in the coming weeks. While there were rumors of an informal long-term offer for CarGo, discussions don't appear to have become serious yet. With Gonzalez still a year away from arbitration eligibility and under team control through 2014, the club likely won't be in any rush.